It seems like just yesterday everyone was getting ready for walleye opener. Now the leaves are changing and surface temperatures are dropping. It's official... summer is over and fall has begun.
Overall it was a great summer on Lac Seul. Lots of walleye, pike and some really great muskies hit the net. A few days were dedicated to jigging summertime lake trout on Big Vermilion Lake, which is always fun for a change.
Later in the summer the walleye fishing on Minnitaki Lake really heats up. Here's a beauty 'eye from Minnitaki. They have a hard time resisting Lindy X-Change jigs tipped with a lively minnow.
Here's another Minnitaki monster of the Essox variety. Check out this 41" pike my guest Steve caught last week!
I had a blast fishing with my buddies Dan, Kevin, Shannon and Paul on the Labour Day weekend. The boys made the trip here to celebrate Shannons 40th birthday.
Double-header lakers for Shannon and Dan.
Paul and I with a nice walleye. Paul was a fishing newbie when he arrived but an old pro by the time they left.
Kevin and a nice walleye.
And the icing on the cake... the birthday boy catches a muskie.
Also had a great time chasing muskie with my buddy Mike at the end of August. We had nice warm weather and found a bunch of muskie, and some big ones too, relating to shallow water and dying weeds. Here's a nice one that Mike got to go on a top-water.
Hunting season has also arrived here in NW Ontario. Black bear season is open so be sure to check out the article I wrote on building a bear bait in Ontario OUT OF DOORS here.
Stay tuned for a fall chalked full of muskie fishing on Lac Seul. I've got some great trips that I'm looking forward to and some really exciting news that you'll just have to wait to find out more about.
Fire on Ice!
Fishing has been hot the last few days in Sioux Lookout! Great multi-species action and some big fish in the mix. Things are softening up with the sun and warm temps but the conditions are still excellent out on the lakes.
Went chasing trout and whitefish the other day and did pretty well. We found our fish in 40-60 FOW. I was expecting some action shallower ~ 20' but never found any. I also got some really neat underwater footage of my buddy Colin's lakers under the ice and coming up the hole. Keep an eye out for that video, and more, later on!
One of Colin's fat, smelt eating, trout. Small head, big body!
Also got into some crazy walleye action on Minnitaki! Big rewards for getting out of bed at 5am - we had hydrolic fishing for the first 2 hours of daylight! Once again the Lindy Darter dominated everything else, not even live bait could keep up. We fished from 24-32 feet of water on a nice gradual sand flat. It's a big funnel from the main lake basin towards a spawning river. Classic stuff and it didn't disappoint!
The great thing about Minnitaki is that you always have a chance at trout when you're walleye fishing in the winter. And wouldn't you know it... Colin and I drilled double header lakers - both on Darters! Both released after a photo.
A nice limit for the table
Surprise chunk smallie - they like Darters too!
Check back again soon, lots of ice fishing still to be had here in NW Ontario!!
Conditions continue to be great for late season ice fishing in Sioux Lookout and the bite has been hot. It's a certainty that we'll finish out the walleye season (April 15th) on the ice. Quite a contrast to 2010 when we were already finished on the big lakes by now.
A pattern we found this week was great action for walleye in deeper water(24-32'). It wasn't difficult to collect limits of under 18" fish. One morning I put on a clinic fishing a Lindy Darter. Hands down it out-fished live bait that day. When walleye want the darter they don't just hit it... they crush it!
The walleye season in Rice River closes on March 31st to protect spawning fish. We snuck in there on the last evening for a few hours and weren't disappointed. The best part was the average size of the walleye, with most fish in the 3-6lb range.
Jeff Schellenberg with a Rice River beauty.
I spent a few hours one afternoon doing some running-and-gunning for trout. The strategy paid off on the 3rd spot when I pretty much landed on top of this guy. Great tussle with a Minnitaki blackie!
Ben Beattie is a fishing guide and outdoor writer living in Sioux Lookout, in northwestern Ontario.